On January 6th of this year, four officers responded to a 9-1-1 call
stating a 32-year-old male was in distress for unknown reasons. The
officers responded to the home of Matthew Fish and determined the
male was having a heart attack. They administered life-saving
defibrillation alternating with manual chest compressions and
ultimately prevented the victim from dying while waiting for
paramedics to arrive.
Before the meeting, Fish’s wife talked about what had happened that
night. She had been awakened by the couple’s young child who was
having a bad dream. She left her bedroom to attend to her child.
When she returned, she immediately noticed that there was something
very wrong with her husband. She tried to wake him and was unable
to. She called 9-1-1 seeking help.
The wife said it was no exaggeration at all to say that the first
officer was knocking on her door before she hung up the phone with
the 9-1-1 dispatch, she said it was truly that fast. She noted that
the officers immediately began assisting her husband, but they also
assisted her. She said one officer was careful to stay with her and
reassure her that everything possible was being done, and she
couldn’t express how much she appreciated the attention that was
given to her husband as well as herself.
She later learned that the officers on duty were all on nightly
patrols of the city. The first officer to arrive patrols in her
residential area, and was only about four blocks away when the call
for help was dispatched. She said that until something like this
happens, one truly cannot appreciate what the Lincoln police
officers do and the value they bring to the community they serve.
She said she was hopeful that everyone would hear about their heroic
efforts and understand the goodness of the Lincoln Police
During the award presentation, Police Chief Paul Adams recounted the
incident from the officers’ perspective. The first officers on the
scene were Corporal Maurice Johnson and Sergeant Robert Sherren.
They assessed the situation and determined that Fish was in heart
failure. Using the AED machine they carry in their squads, they
applied an electric shock to the victim’s heart, then immediately
followed through with CPR chest compressions. Adams explained that
the AED machine provided advice on when to administer a shock. The
officers followed the directives from their equipment and in their
efforts administered an electric shock to the victim seven times.
With four officers on the scene, Adams said each one took turns in
administering CPR chest compressions. The officers alternated
electric shock and CPR, and Adams said in total they performed chest
compressions on the victim for 8 minutes, in addition to the shock
Adams said the Lincoln Fire Department also arrived on the scene and
provided oxygen for the victim. The Logan County Paramedics were
quick to respond as well. After the paramedics had arrived, the
officers continued their efforts while the paramedics worked to get
the victim ready for transport to Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital
for emergency treatment.
The end result was that though he suffered a few broken ribs, which
is not uncommon with chest compressions, the victim did recover from
his ordeal. Adams also noted that the Logan County Paramedics, as
well as the emergency staff at ALMH, stated the victim would not
have survived his heart attack had it not been for the quick
response of the Lincoln police officers.
Matthew Fish was in the galley on Monday night and came forward to
say a few words before Adams handed out the awards. He said, “I
appreciate everything you guys done. If it wasn’t for you guys, I
wouldn’t be here. I wasn’t prepared to say anything, but I wanted to
tell you guys I’m very grateful from the bottom of my heart. I don’t
know what I would have done if you guys weren’t there, responding in
the time that you did. My family is grateful; we really appreciate
[to top of second column]
Fish did have a family history of heart disease and said that his
mother also had a heart attack at a young age. He said from now on
he will be on daily medication, but it is well worth it to be with
his family and watch his children grow up.
Adams presented each officer with a medal for their life-saving
efforts. As the four stood at attention at the front of the Council
Chambers, the gallery, as well as city aldermen offered a standing
ovation for the men.
Christy Fruge’ named Officer of the Year
After presenting medals to the four officers, Chief Adams moved on
to the next presentation. He named Christy Fruge as the 2015 Officer
of the Year.
The Chief said she had stepped up, and “knocked it out of the park”
with the Lincoln D.A.R.E. program. He praised her hard work in
raising funds to keep the program strong and said she has brought
“out of the box ideas” to build good relationships with area youth
and has a great relationship with many of the children in town. He
noted that she was also eager to work at other community events.
Adams concluded with a statement directly to Fruge, “The work that
you do does not go unnoticed by me or the members of our community.
Your enthusiasm in service to our community reflects highly upon
yourself and the Lincoln Police Department and the city of Lincoln.
Thank-you for continuing your excellent work.”
2015 Merit Award
Chief Adams presented the 2015 Merit Award to Matthew Comstock. Due
to the nature of his work with the Police Department, Comstock
requested no photos and no extensive commentary.
Adams offered commentary on the officer and closed by saying, “Your
work ethic reflects highly upon yourself, the police department and
the city of Lincoln. Thank-you, and continue your excellent work.”